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tv   [untitled]    April 5, 2012 9:00am-9:30am EDT

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dardery captioning performed by vitac >> faith for us defines this value system, encourages spirituality, resists oppression and extremism. on the economic level, we would like to encourage the private enterprise, promote opportunities that many young egyptians were not allowed to develop. we would like also egypt to be part of the global economy. the state needs not to control but it needs to empower the
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young egyptians. we would like to focus on economic partnership. on the political front, we're very much interested and working for we know that egypt has a unique place, geography, history. so the stability and security not only of egypt but of the whole region depends on what happens in egypt in the coming years. free, uninterrupted trade and oil, energy supply, nuclear disarment and comprehensive peace are important ingredients of the political platform of egypt. we have a dream. and the dream is that all egyptians have access to clean water, food, schools and hospitals. we have a dream that egyptians will not be fearful anymore of
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speaking truth to power. we would like not to have fear of anymore torture for political opposition, for innocent human beings just because we have a different perspective. we have a dream of creating a civic society that is vibrant and is strong. the stronger the society is is better for. >> -- for everyone. we need to create a balance between the strength of society and the strength of the government. the moment that the government is stronger than society, it can lead to oppression. we would like the people of egypt to have the power in their head ps. >> you can see more on this topic on c-span 2 this morning. it is just getting under way on
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our companion decade on c-span2. for decades after watergate, the two "washington post" reporters recount what happened, how they uncovered the scandal that led to the resignation of president nixon. carl bernstein and john woodward spoke at a news conference here in washington. this is about 90 minutes. hi. i'm david boardman, executive editor of the seattle times and incoming vice president of as & e. every profession has its totemic event that inspires succeeding generations. and in american journalism, it was of course watergate.
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as professor mike shutsen of columbia puts it, the coverage of watergate altered the map of journalism and led to the reinvigoration of muck making. investigative journal had gone dorm ant. that all changed beginningjune of 1972 as two young reporters, one a clean cut, christian college midwesterner just two years out of the navy, the other a long-haired, chain smoking college dropout from silver spring maryland began with a fairly routine night cop story and turned it into what stands still today as the high water mark of american journalism. in fact, i'm confident in saying that this single piece of reporting is responsible for many of us in this room choosing the profession that we love so much. on this day we're here to both
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honor the 40th anniversary of the work of those two reporters and to use it to explore how journalism has changed in the decades since. what would happen if tomorrow morning a young "washington post" reporter saw a police report on a break-in at the national democratic party headquarters? what might transpire after her initial tweet? in today's environment could a sustained relationship with highly placed anonymous sources be sustained and protected? or is the matrix of digital information simply too revealing? we have a distinguished panel here to ponder those and other questions and it's my honor to introduce them. moderating the discussion will be alycia shepard. she's is a consultant who writes on media issues and is the former ombudsman for national public radio. she's uniquely qualified to lead the discussion having authored the critically aim claimed book "woodward and bernstein, life in
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the shadow of watergate." in the nmiddle, amanda, she's a pulitzer prize winner as a reporter and editor and former chair of the pulitzer board. she's the author of six books. on the far left is jeff lean, the editor in charge of investigations at the "washington post," a position he has held since 2003. he joined the post as an investigative reporter in 1997 after 15 years at the miami herald and as a reporter and editor, he's worked on investigations that have been honored with seven pulitzer prizes. and then second from the right here is josh marshall, who is the editor and publisher of talking points, the innovative public service journalism web site. in 2008 he won a george polk award for his organization's reporting on the politically
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motivated dismissals of u.s. attorneys by the bush administration. and finally, our two special guests, perhaps the two most influential journalists of our time, our d.w. griffiths, our charles darn win, our john, paul, george and ringo, bob woodward and carl bernstein. [ applause ] >> from that week in june 1972 each has had a career of distinguished work that has solidified their place in our pantheon. i want to recognize another special guest. here in the front row we have their editor, ben bradley, the former editor and currently vice president of "the washington post." [ applause ] now the fun. >> thank you. it's a real privilege being here. i wrote my book because i wanted
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to answer one question. how do you live the rest of your lives when by age 30 you've achieved the fame, success, wealth and professional respect that most of us hope to have by the time you die? writing a book about two living people is a very odd experience. kind of feel like a stalker. you know so much about them, you probably know things they've long forgotten. you're reading everything, combing through their a kirchiv divorce papers, grilling their friends and enemies and all the while they're right there, not at all dead but still not talking to you. but we're friends now. watergate was a hundred year storm, driven by two metro post reporters who stumbled into the biggest corruption story of the 20th century that happened to involve the president of the
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united states and led to his resignation. unthinkable at the time was that the president of the united states could be a crook. today that's our default. [ laughter ] >> at the time of the break in, june 17, 1972, there were three tv tables, no talk radio the "washington post" wasn't even the biggest newspaper in town. stories in d.c. didn't necessarily filter out to the rest of the country and there certainly was no internet. first i want you all to look at a two-minute clip to sort of take you back to that moment. then we'll spend some time paying tribute to this landmark piece of journalism and then talk about today. these men are about to commit a crime which will trigger a series of events that will change the course of american history.
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now known collectively as watergate, this and related crimes might never have become known had it not been for the american press. leading the of thes to get at the truth about watergate were two young reporters from "the washington post," bob woodward and carl bernstein. intrigued by the dramatic possibilities of two unknown newspaper reporters taking on the president of the united states, robert redford decided to approach woodward and bernstein about a movie based on their experiences. >> i was tremendously impressed from the beginning with redford's approach to this, even before he had sold it to warner. he wanted to make a serious movie about the newspaper business. >> he seemed excited about it in the sense that it was -- that we really -- our rear ends were out on the line for so long. >> they were unknown. and they lived somewhat an
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unstructured life in a very, very structured town that seems to be pretty much two track, press and politics. they weren't on anyone's list. that impressed me. they were real outsiders and at the bottom of the rung so to speak. woodward was at the time covering rat droppings in restaurants and considered not exactly william shakespeare. bernstein was having trouble staying awake. >> finally redford decided to go ahead with the movie version of woodward and bernstein's book "all the president's men." it would star redford as carl woodward and dustin hoffman as carl bernstein. >> there's more but we want to hear from the real folks. so, carl, what comes to mind after watching that? >> my hair is a different color. what comes to mind is that what the book and the movie of "all the president's men" are about
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is the process of reporting. getting at the best obtainable version of the truth. and what you see in that movie and what i think we tried to depict in the book is that it is a methodology that gets you there. we were young, we worked at night, which was a great advantage in darkness. woodward has often said that the light comes out in darkness. and i think that's what we found. and that the methodology worked and that 40 years later what was dismissed as a third rate burglary we know now was a massive, unprecedented, unconstitutional campaign of political espionage and sabotage that defined the president of the united states and his presidency and we can go on from there i think. >> bob, how about you?
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what do you think or feel when you watch that? >> somebody used the word stumbled into the story. and that's about 90% right. and we worked in an environment in which the editors were always saying "where's the next watergate story?" what are you going to do? they were encouraging, they were supportive. the white house was denouncing us regularly but in a sense carl and i were in a bubble and protected and it's nice to work when you are protected and encouraged to get to the bottom of the story. done graham, who is here, his mother, who was the publisher, really was the back bone of the institution and as we've often
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said, she -- when she asked when are we going to get to know the whole story of watergate, this was a time in early '73 when the stories we had written were not believed, when we answered, you know, this is a big cover up, a massive criminal conspiracy, people are being paid for their silence so our answer was never. and she said the very memorable "never, don't tell me never." >> just to bring us back, can you talk about that day? do you remember it well, june 17th, 1972? can you sort of tell us about that day, for each of you? >> sure. i was one of two chief virginia reporters. i came into the office working on a profile weekend of lieutenant governor henry howe for virginia who was running for
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governor. i heard commotion around the city desk that there had been a break-in at the democratic headquarters and it seemed like a more interesting story i was working on at the moment. so i got on the desk and started making often calls. you could tell right away it was an unusual story. the city editor and metropolitan editor were both in an unusual state of excitement. >> if contrast to carl's self-assignment, i was asleep. and the city editor woke me up and said would you come in, there's this story. and it was probably one of the most beautiful days in washington, that june 17th, '72.
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the editors kind of met and said who would be dumb enough to come in and work on a day like this and my name came to the lips of many. and i was sent to the courtho e courthouse. it was mysterious. we thought is this the local headquarters, the national headquarters? it want clear. here were these five burglars. and as carl always said, who worked in journalism since age 4 said you just never see burglars in business suits. and there they were in court and the judge asked the head burglar, james mccord, where did you work? and mccord being a forth right -- where did you work -- >> gordon liddy is back! he's working the room.
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>> those are the watergate tapes. >> and mccord being forth right and so forth answered and the judge said speak up and mccord said "cia." and the judge said, come on, speak up and he said "i worked at the cia." and, you know, you tilt. something's up. >> i believe your words were "holy shit." >> yes, that's exactly right. and i remember coming back to the office and i think they -- this is a time at the post where they flooded the zone, as the "new york times" reporter said. i think we had eight people working on this story the first day. carl and i, unmarried, were the only ones to come in the next day sunday and work on the second story. >> okay. bob, what was watergate? >> oh, my god.
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let's let somebody else -- >> no, i was told to treat you like i'm taking two big dogs on a leash and let you drag me around. >> real quickly, i think the understanding of it now because there were so many tapes, there were so many investigations, when you glue it all together, you realize so many of the important activities in watergate occurred before the watergate burglary. there is a tape that shows in 1971 haldeman, nixon's chief of staff, told nixon that dwight chapin, who was nixon's pointmepoint me -- appointment secretary was running and had set up a sabotage operation to derail the democrats. there are tapes that show that nixon in august of '72 approved an okayed the payment of the watergate burglars for their
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silence. you know, carl has laid this out very well that watergate was -- not just the burglary, not just the coverup, but a whole mindset and a whole series of illegal activities. just for instance, they hired people well before watergate, a former fbi man, to climb the telephone pole behind joe craft's house and tap his telephone. now, just think, if something like that were going on, do you think barack obama has a team climbing telephone poles to tap people's telephone? let's hope not. and joe craft was a very prominent columnist at that time. so watergate is an interlacing series of activities that were illegal, as mark phelp told us, there were 50 people who were hired to do this and people
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dismissed that. the senate watergate committee found more than 50 people doing all kinds of things specifically to derail muskie. >> let me add one thing. there are two essential elements and we can see it so clearly with the tapes today, and that is an attempt to undermine the most basic of american democratic notions, which is free elections, that what watergate was really about was to derail the electoral process of the opposition party, to have the white house determine who the nominee of the democratic party would be. and then we found out, and i don't mean just the press, bob and i, but i mean the judicial system, the legislative system, that coincidentally that the anti-war movement had been regarded in almost exactly the same way by the nixon white house. and these two things came
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together. and there was this huge retrib tiff mechanism that really defined the president and the presidency. >> i'd like to know what was -- what do you see watergate was for journalism? i'm one of the people in the room, i'll bet you everybody here who is sit hearing because of you, i think all of us here are here because of you, what do you see about what watergate and what you did for the practice of journalism? what do you think was good and what do you think was bad that came out from that? >> can everyone hear that? >> a really good question. >> i'm going to shout. my question was everybody here in the room is here because of these guys. we all chose our professions. i wanted their perception of what watergate did to the practice of journalism and what they think was good about it and what they think was bad about it. >> well, the -- what it was was
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in-depth, persistent reporting. we've often talked about the incremental coverage. we were told to stay on the story. sometimes we had stories on page b-36. one of them i just thought of that there was a $3,000 receiver that the watergate burglars had, which was a very expense of receiver at that point and we wrote a story about -- we didn't know exactly what it meant. we finally figured out it showed they had virtually unlimited amounts of money to conduct these operations. the unlimited amount of money demonstrated it want just somebody at the middle level who authorized it, who said we can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these things. though it's not in the book or
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in our notes, the idea was follow the money be, find something to follow. find something that will give you a hook into the story. >> but in terms of the profession, i think it's about a newspaper that we were fortunate, lucky enough to work for a newspaper where the bottom line was the truth. that was the bottom line. that's what the management was interested in, that was the value of the publisher of the paper. bradley and woodward and i were sitting around a week ago, we were sitting in woodward's living room and going over some things and bradley kept saying, he kept saying "it the truth, it's the truth, what about the truth," that's what he kept going at. >> and he also told us that he didn't get into journalism because of us. [ laughter ] >> and also, there came a day --
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>> we got into journalism because of him. >> that's right. >> i remember reading "the washington post" when i was doing my last year in the navy and you would get it in the morning and it vibrated because it clearly was an independent voice. there clearly was a willingness to challenge the conventional wisdom to challenge the establi establishment and you could tell it. and that was so attractive to young reporters. >> the other thing is there came a day when the subpoena for the committee of the reelection for president arrived at the office. bob want there, i got a call. i called bradley and i said they're coming after our notes. he called upstairs to katherine graham and katherine graham said they're not their notes, they're my notes and they're going to have come and get me. >> and we said that's just
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great, can't you see they decide to seasoned her to jail and her limousine pulls up to the d.c. jail and she gets out and says i'll go to jail for this. >> if i could add one thing because these two guys are too modest to say it. watergate in vettiinvestigative journalism was like the big gang. everybody changed after that. my generation of reporters, you could call us the sons and daughters of watergate, just like amanda said. i got into this business because of what these two guys did. and at the "washington post," i run the investigative unit that was set up for bob woodward to run not long after watergate. he was the first editor 30 years ago. i'm the fifth editor 30 years later and that is -- >> and tell them how much they've shrunk your staff. >> i still have seven full-time
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investigators. >> calm down, calm down. >> and marcus says -- >> which is really a testimony. i have seven full-time investigators who can spend a year developing withone story. it goes back to what carl said about methodology. watergate provided a culture of vettive reporting, it provided a controlling myth but it also taught us how to do it, how to think about doing it. follow the money is something we do in every single investigation to this very day. it's how we broke the abromoff story in 2004 and 2005. it informs everything rewee do. developing human sources and paper record are still even in this internet tweeting age the foundation of what we do. >> bob, i asked you, did deep throat ever say to you "follow the money"? >> no, no, he never did. but if you look at the notes,
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that's what it added up to. one of the things that you have to look at here and jeff makes the point about it being method. the method really was carl saying let's talk to the people who worked for nixon's campaign committee. and we couldn't get a list of who was there. carl, bless him, he had a former girl friend who had a contact who provided us with a list of the people who worked there. we went into the night and carl in the method of trying to talk to the people who were interesting under the theory of the money because we'd done a story chasing a $25,000 check, found the bookkeeper for the nixon campaign. and that in a sense unlocked the whole issue of who was in charge, who authorized these very large payments to people like gordon liddy who ran watergate and so forth and that
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was just systematically going through and finding the people. >> and the other thing it told us from the beginning when the nixon white house said this is a third rate burglary, when we went taught to see the people who worked for the president and his campaign, we encountered incredible fear, bordering on terror. this is about the methodology. it's about that information in itself was ef sense. >> wouldn't you have been afraid, though, if you saw that air cut you had? if somebody like that showed up at your door? >> and it's fred collar. >> smoking cigarettes. >> that's right. >> i heard redford is going to make a documentary about watergate to april peer in 2013. can either of you tell us about it and why it's necessary? doesn't we know everything.
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? >> redford is very serious pausing and look at at it that was -- i think one of the key yeses is who was richard nixon? and the watergate tapes are stunning. no one's ever going to listen to them all or look at the transcripts. >> but you do in the car. >> i do in the car instead of music, i have nixon tape cassettes to perfect me on down the road. and not on are there prime minister, not only abuse of power but the smallness of nixon, just jumps at you when you listen to enough of these. and there is richard nixon. has the responsibility and the high purpose of president of the united states and he wants to


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